Attendees: Steve Berque, Chuck Bensonhaver, Barbara Burgess, Leigh Cobb, Jerry Cohen, Inger Fyfe, Judy Gimson, Elise Haderer, Mary Hill, Isabel Kottak, Jan McBride, Diane Widdus
We had a lively discussion, first bemoaning the worst features of the new Republican bill but grateful that at least they don’t have the votes to pass it yet. Many people were concerned about the poor responsiveness and lack of dialogue to our calls and emails. Barbara’s letter to the editor has been published; she suggested writing another letter about the issue of poor response.
There was a discussion about the helpfulness of contacting Governor McMaster since other governors are vocal about their concerns for the Medicaid expansion. However, the consensus was that since he was an early Trump supporter and SC did not participate in the Medicaid expansion, he was unlikely to be helpful. It was also questioned whether the insurance commissioner, Ray Farmer, may have the data on the number of South Carolinians who would lose their coverage and would know the financial impact on the state. The final conclusion was that our best action would still be to contact our Senators.
It was suggested that everyone try to contact the Senators to try to arrange a meeting during the July 4 recess, July 3 through the 10; some will email and others will call. We discussed whether we should say at the onset that we are members of SIAN but decided that might prejudice the offices against us and limit the likelihood of an appointment. We will plan on bringing 3-5 members if we are successful in scheduling an appointment.
Mary shared a document she had found on portlandoregon.gov website that reviewed the principles of lobbying.
Mary also had prepared a mission statement for our committee that was agreed upon by all the meeting participants:
Our mission is to standup, act, and make a difference to ensure that affordable healthcare is accessible to all.
Barbara will write another Letter to the Editor expressing our concerns about the poor responsiveness of the Senators to their constituents.
Everyone will contact the Senators in order to arrange a meeting during the recess.
There was so much positive energy and exchange of information with presentation of multiple articles that people left the meeting feeling hopeful.
SIAN Contact: Inger Fyfe
SIAN Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIAN Website: siansc.com